The Style Meter
As Nero or Dante attack enemies, the Style Meter on the left side of the screen will fill up. As the name implies it measures how stylish you are being. As the bar fills up your stylish ranking will increase, which makes a large difference to the overall ranking you receive after completing the mission. To increase the bar, use a variety of different combos and keep moving as the bar is constantly decresing. Getting hit will also lower it but if it is raised high enough it will not drop to nothing, but decreae two ranks lower. The rankings are, from lowest to highest, Deadly, Carnage, Brutal, Atomic, Smokin', Smokin' Style and finally Smokin' Sick Style. The style meter is also an important part of the Bloody Palace minigame as it determines how much time is received for defeating the enemies there.
At the end of each mission you will earn a rank depending on how well the mission was completed. There are three criteria that decide the final ranking, time, stylish points and orbs collected. These scores are combined to create the points score that appears just before the final ranking does. The rankings range from D to A and then the highest rank, the S rank. The number of points needed to get each ranking changes on each mission and difficulty level. Each of the three criteria is individually ranked as well so if you don't get the rank you were hoping for you know where to improve. The ranking is really not that important but it does determine how many proud souls are received for that mission and so getting a higher rank leaves you with more to spend on new combos and abilities. Getting all the missions S ranked will also unlock various different achievements and trophies as well.
Multipliers and Penalties
In addition to the basic three criteria there are also multipliers that can be applied to increase the final score and push up the final ranking. Not all of the multipliers are good though and actually decrese your score. Any obtained multipliers or penalties are displayed at the bottom of the mission cleared screen.
No Damage Received: x1.5 No Item Used: x1.2 Gold Orb Used: x0.7 Continue Used: x0.8 Enemy Level Down: x0.8 (the game will lower the difficulty for you if you are repeatly killed at the same point but will penalise your for it here) Super Character Used: x0.2
The bonuses and penalties do not carry over to the bloody palace, as it doesn't let use items or continue if defeated, with the exception of the super character penalty. This makes the super characters fine for just reaching the top but hard to obtain higher more than a D with them and impossible to obtain an S rank.
Orbs, Proud Souls and Items
Orbs are the currency of the Devil May Cry series. They can be used to purchase items at Divinity statue shops and have other beneficial effects. Orbs are found lying around inside the game world, usually hidden inside enemies or destroyable objects. The number of red orbs collected counts towards the mission ranking earned. There are six types of orbs in total:
Red Orbs- Act as currency for the Divinity statue shop. Green Orbs- Restore your Health bar. White Orbs- Restore the Devil Trigger Gauge.
These three orbs are fairly common and found all over the place. If the green or white orbs are collected but the bars are all ready full then they will act as red orbs. The remaining orbs are quite rare and can only be found at certain locations or bought from the shop:
Blue Orbs- Permantly increase the Health bar. These are also found as fragments, which add up to a whole blue orb once four have been collected. Purple Orbs- permently increase the Devil Trigger Gauge. Gold Orbs- Restore you to full health when knocked down. Unlike using a continue it allows you to continue from the point where you died and not at the last checkpoint. A maximum of three can be carried but using one will result in a penalty for that mission.
These are special items. they cannot be collecte in game and are only received upon completing a mission. How many are received depends on the number of points obtained during that mission. Proud Souls are used as currency in the power up section of the shop, allowing new combos and abilities to be purchased. Proud souls transfer from character to character and can be refunded at any time by visiting the shop.
There are small number of items that can be used in the game. These are either found out in the game world or brought from the Divinity Statue Shops. They appear once on each difficulty level so each one can be picked up a total of four times. Items cannot be used in the Bloody Palace minigame or during the secret missions.
Vital Star S, M and L- These items restore your health. The small ize restores about three bars, the medium size about eight bars and the large ones restores all the health bars. They cost 5000, 10000 and 20000 red orbs respectivly.
Devil Star S and L- These items restore the Devil Trigger Gauge. The small one adds three or four bars and the large restores the every bar.
Holy Water- Using one of these does damage to all foes in the immediate area. It is possible to complete the game on the hardest difficulty setting without using them but they have there uses. The damage they cause depends on the difficulty level and do next to nothing on DMD but are devastating on Human and Devil Hunter. They are 20000 red orbs each.
There are twelve secret missions hidden throughout the levels of Devil May Cry 4. The entrance to each is marked by a scroll with glowing red writing on it pinned to a level somewhere. To activate them all you need to do is go up to them and press jump. The reward for completing each of them is a blue orb fragment, or a load of red orbs for the second time.